If you own a thermometer it is important to know if they are giving accurate readings.

One way to do that is to keep them calibrated and check them every once in a while to see any shortcomings or ambiguous behaviorHere we list some methods and points to keep in mind when calibrating one at home.

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  1. Know your Thermometer

The type of thermometer you have dictates the method you will be applying. Analog thermometers and digital thermometer are the ones that are most commonly used and therefore we will tell you some ways to calibrate them.

  • It is easier these days with a digital thermometer that allows resetting with a simple reset button.
  • The old ones can be reset manually by remembering the offset that it gave you.
  • Use of factory-calibrated thermometer also means that they can lose some precision over time.
  1. Using the Freezing Point of Water

Fortunately enough we can use some of the physics or science that was taught at school. We know that the freezing point of water is zero degrees Celsius. So we will use this property to rest our thermometer now.

  • Get a glass full of ice; let it sit for some time to get cold water out of it.
  • Stir the ice cubes and let it sit for like 2 minutes, not more.
  • Stir it again and insert your thermometer into it.
  • The temperature should read 32°F or 0°C.
  • If there is any difference, read it and offset your thermometer appropriately.
  1. The Boiling Point of Water

Once we know the science we have been said that water freezes at zero and boils at 100. These two were universal truths on the surface of the earth (varies with altitude) and we can use this for our purpose here.

  • Boil a pot of distilled water if possible.
  • Once the water begins to boil, insert your thermometer, carefully and do not touch the bottom or sides.
  • Read the temperature on it and it should read 212°F or 100°C.
  • Once again if there is any difference, record it and remember to offset it when taking your readings.
  1. Calibrating Kitchen Thermometers

In case of a kitchen thermometer, the accuracy of the readings will not hurt you much. The accuracy is controlled mostly for medical diagnosis.

  • You can use any of the two methods given above to calibrate it.
  • The method is straightforward as mentioned above.
  1. Keep in Mind the Points Below

Digital and analog thermometers vary a lot. You must keep a check every six months or so.

  • The modern thermometers that used digital electronics might have their own functionality.
  • You may also have to replace their batteries if these are not working fine.
  • Analog can use a tape to mark the new reset.


  • Always make sure that the thermometer only touches the ice cubed water surrounding and not the glass or the container it is in.

Remember about what I said about the surface of the earth. That is, with altitude that boiling point of ware will vary, so keep a chart with you depending on your geographical location.

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